Posted by: Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Trustworthy Computing
The more I read and speak with people, the more apparent it becomes that cloud solutions are gaining momentum. It’s exciting to see the new cloud offerings joining the cadre of interesting and available solutions.
The potential value is often articulated in economic terms, such as the cloud will save organizations money. Coming at this from a security point of view, there’s definitely the potential for budget savings or personnel efficiencies in this area. Organizations can free up resources in their IT departments by essentially outsourcing security updates to the cloud provider, as those will occur through the provider’s management of the online service. While security experts professionally oversee your security updates, IT staff utilization can shift to other priorities. And smaller organizations, like a doctor’s office, often have the office manager tasked with managing IT, including the management of security updates, back-ups, etc. By relying on a cloud provider to manage functions like updating, the office manager’s time can be re-vectored to patient scheduling and service tasks. This is where I see the cloud not only as a notable technological advancement, but as a business model with clear economic and resource management advantages.
Posted by: Jacqueline Beauchere, Director, Trustworthy Computing Communications
Microsoft and Trustworthy Computing have been focused on raising public awareness and educating customers about online risks for years. We’ve created a wealth of educational resources, partnered with others, and improved our technology. We have a vision of creating a global “culture of online safety,” where Internet security is second-nature—like locking doors and fastening seatbelts.
This year, to coincide with National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and to help gauge industry progress, we conducted fresh research. The result is a new and innovative barometer, measuring the extent to which proven online tools and behaviors are being embraced by the digital public.
Over the last two weeks, members of our Trustworthy Computing Group spent some quality time in Europe. From London to Moscow with numerous stops in between, my colleagues have been sharing our latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR version 11) and what it tells us about the evolving cyber-threat landscape.
These trips give us a great opportunity to connect with customers and colleagues to learn what cyber-security issues are pressing in their locales. Meeting face-to-face also gives us a chance to share what we know about the cyber-security landscape as well as the best practices we see customers adopting to help maintain a trustworthy computing environment.
This year I think we’ve broken new ground in terms of connecting research with reality. Customers and industry partners over the last year have told us that when it comes to cyber-security, “zero-day attacks” are the great unknown. We noticed that customers had a good sense of what zero-days are (situations where an exploit is released before the vendor has issued a security update), but didn’t always know how to prioritize them.
Posted by: Richard Saunders
113 years and 362 days ago Andre-Jacques Garnerin sat on the edge of a hot air balloon several thousand feet above Monceau Park in Paris moments before making what was to become the first successful parachute jump.
Of course I can’t be sure, but I’m guessing that one of the thoughts going through his mind was “Do I really want to do this?” Talk about a mission-critical decision! But he believed in the theory, trusted his invention and made history.
Similar to the intrepid parachuter, organisations perched on the edge of information technology decisions are often unsure as to whether they can wholly trust the provider(s).
This will be the second year that my colleague Adrienne Hall, general manager, Trustworthy Computing keynotes at RSA Europe. Last year she spoke about botnets being the backbone of cybercrime, highlighted the security practices IT professionals can continue to focus on, and mentioned the partnership with law enforcement as important to making progress. The subject of this year’s keynote is more esoteric; Adrienne talked about trust relative to cloud computing; specifically, that cloud vendors need to demonstrate a variety of capabilities to increase confidence and stimulate further cloud adoption.
Posted by: Tim Rains, Director of Product Management, Trustworthy Computing
Today we released volume 11 of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIRv11), covering the period January to June 2011. With detailed analysis on 105 countries, it is the largest and most in-depth report on cyber-threats we have ever developed.
I’ve been at the excellent Interop show in New York and have attended most of the Information Security and Risk Management sessions that have been delivered by a truly impressive line-up of speakers from all the big security firms.
It’s not that surprising, but the common themes coming through are that cyber criminals are getting sneakier, threats are more sophisticated and dealing with them is increasingly complex.
My work with Microsoft takes me all kinds of interesting places, but this month I get to do more “pond hopping” than usual. I’ll be attending the Interop New York conference starting October 3 and the RSA Europe conference in London starting October 11. I’m particularly excited to meet with customers and industry representatives to gauge the pulse of the cloud.
Posted by Adrienne Hall
Judging by the feedback from this month’s BUILD conference in Anaheim, California, excitement is growing for the next wave of Microsoft technology. In “Windows 8,” “Windows Server 8” and the Azure Toolkit for “Windows 8,” Microsoft is showing a strong commitment to generating solutions that enable customers to thrive in cloud environments.
Years ago I was a part of a team in Microsoft that did a lot of work in the hospitality sector. At that time hotels were Internet-enabling their chains and the business decision they had to make was whether to invest in big TVs or more of a laptop and power desk arrangement. And it was a big decision affecting entire remodel and refurbishment plans for years to come. Some companies made a choice and picked one over the other. Others created a hybrid approach, experimenting with both the TV and desk accoutrements to gauge guest interest over a defined period of time before making a final commitment.